After the number of Muslim MPs in the Lok Sabha had increased from 4.3 percent in 1952 to 9.3 percent in 1977, that number dropped back down again to levels last seen in the 1950s and 60s. After the 2019 elections, 5 percent of Indian MPs are Muslim, while around 15 percent of the country currently belong to the religious group. For comparison, the current Lok Sabha is more than 90 percent Hindu, while Hindus make up just under 80 percent of the Indian population.
The landslide win of Prime minister Modi’s BJP party, which centers around Hindu nationalism, had its impact on the representations of Muslims in parliament, even though one Muslim MP was elected for the party in 2019. Since the rise of the BJP, the situation of Muslims in India has deteriorated significantly, the latest race riots in Delhi being just one example of that.
Muslims in India have higher fertility rates than the country’s average – not unusual for groups which are on average poorer and less educated than the general public. This has caused the share of Muslims in India to rise faster than the share of other groups - from around 10 percent in the 1950s to an estimated 15 percent today. The 2011 census showed that the Muslim population was growing at a rate of 24.6 percent, while the Hindu population was growing at a rate of 16.8 percent. Jain and Sikh populations grew slower at 5.4 and 8.4 percent, again in line with the groups’ more privileged positions in society.